Monday, February 13, 2006

Damn you, community college bureaucracies

Why, why must community colleges have such damn complicated application forms? I can't remember how many units I took for each of my degrees (and I hate having to look up this information), nor do I know my supervisors' phone numbers for the past 10 years, nor do I remember all the grad seminars I took that remotely have to do with the field in which I'm applying. And yet all this information is required, and it must be typed into PDF forms that, once filled out, can't be saved but must be printed and mailed. (And you get all of, oh, 200 characters to describe each teaching experience.) But I do love the teaching of eager young working-class minds, so apply I will. An additional incentive: I looked at the salary schedule for one of the colleges, and tenure-track Ph.D.s with teaching experience bring home absolutely yummy paychecks. Really, I was shocked.

Other random thoughts:

1. I went shopping today and bought my first nice (i.e., not Target-brand) clothes since fall 2004 (pre-pregnancy). Of course, the way the clothes fit isn't at all what I'm used to--I'm in a not-so-fun size right now, that netherworld between maternity clothes with elastic belly bands and did-I-really-used-to-be-a-size-10? I know the weight will come off eventually (but oh, how aggravatingly slowly!), so it pains me to shop at nice department stores knowing that the clothes won't last me more than a season or two. But I had Macy's gift cards from two Christmases (last year's didn't get spent because my local Macy's didn't have maternity sections), so the eight pieces I bought today cost me nothing at all, and I have some gift card $$$ left over. Yay!

And bonus: I bought not one, not two, but THREE pairs of shoes on sale at Aerosoles. Trillwing's feet are going to be very, very happy starting tomorrow.

2. My "little" sister is a fabulous writer. When I asked her how she's doing this week, she sent me a copy of an e-mail in which she vented her righteous indignation over a lousy, expensive seminar she was required to attend for continued certification in her field. She's always been articulate, but the terrific, biting prose is new to me. She told me she writes best when she's angry. Funny--that's when I'm most articulate, too--when I'm filled with indignation about something.

I first noticed this phenomenon my junior year of high school, when my physics teacher tossed our midterms at us (literally, into the air over our lab tables) and yelled at us for failing to perform well on them. He told us we'd all be sleeping on park benches one day and then promptly locked himself in the little office/storage room behind his classroom. That evening, I reported this behavior to my schoolteacher parents. Dad called and left a message for Mr. BadTeacher. The next day, in an obvious attempt to embarrass me and thus head off any parent-teacher headbutting that might result in disciplinary action for him, Mr. BadTeacher waited for the crowded classroom to quiet down and then asked, "Trillwing, what did your dad want to talk to me about?" All students' eyes turned to where I was sitting in the back of the class. This, of course, was the ideal position from which to project my voice so that everyone could hear what I was about to say. Since I hadn't uttered a word to Mr. BT during the entire semester (I suck at math and so wasn't an eager student), you can imagine his surprise when I announced that my father had concerns about his pedagogy, that we didn't think flinging exams at students was either professional or fruitful, that we believed this was just the latest in a series of such incidents, and that Dad would like to discuss the situation--as well as my (lack of) progress in the class--with Mr. BadTeacher. Had Mr. BT considered even for a moment, I asked, that if every student in the class scored a C- or lower on an objective test, he might not have prepared us adequately to answer the questions? (Many smirks from my fellow students.)

Mr. BadTeacher called my father that very afternoon, explaining to my dad that he found me "surprisingly articulate." He also mentioned that I was lucky to be in sixth-period physics because the students in seventh period were "braindead." (Um, yeah. . . High school students who take a physics elective are positively comatose. And, I must add, Mr. BT said this to my father, who taught kids with real learning disabilities.) I recently learned that Mr. BadTeacher, who moved on to teaching elsewhere shortly after my stint in his classroom, lost his credential over untoward affairs with underage female students. (Is it wrong for me, as a feminist, to gain some satisfaction from these events? Trillwing, who is otherwise endlessly forgiving, has a tiny vengeful streak.)

Anyway, I wonder where Sis and I get this sudden, er, facility of expression when we're pissed off. Certainly not from Mom and Dad, who don't joust verbally (except with one another).

3. A little bit of mommy/photoblogging:

New toy exploration by the little guy. Note the classic pincer grasp, which the American Academy of Pediatrics manual tells me is a milestone for 8- to 12-month-olds, and Lucas is but a wee five-month-old. (I'm such a proud mommy).

Lucas, who has on the whole been a pretty happy-go-lucky baby, has learned to show his anger and frustration with, well, just about everything. Here he decides he's had enough of (a) his new highchair and (b) those plastic stacking doughnut thingies:

Awwwwww. . .

The Lion, Lucas, and Mr. Trillwing on Monochromatic Clothing Day:

4. I hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day. . . As a friend of mine penned on her Valentine's Day cards for her classmates at the all-female Immaculate Conception Academy, "Happy VD!"


Breena Ronan said...

I told you he was too smart! Look at him and his pinchy little fingers!

SisterLittle said...

It's creepy how much Lucas now looks like Mr. Trillwing. He changed so much in his appearance in a couple of weeks. His eyes are definitely brown, huh?